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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
At first listen it was disappointing to see two previously heard tracks (Passion listeners will recognize both of them): The excellent lead-off track “The Glory of it All,” and cut 3 “Everything Glorious.” However, after absorbing Remedy as a whole the nice new electronic and ambient touches on each song provide continuity and these two tracks stand out less. Actually after hearing the emotive vocals Mr. Crowder turns in on “The Glory of it All” I gained a stronger appreciation of the message of the song. The pulsing dance beat of “Can You Feel It?” will quickly grab your grey cells and not let go; and the smile-inducing “…neverending…” provide a fitting bridge to previous DCB song themes like “We Win!” and “Foreverandever, Etc...” On the ballad front Remedy features the touching “You Never Let Go” and the closing prayer “Surely We Can Change.” Also included is a rousing rework of “O, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing” the tender title track “Remedy” (reminding us that God is the Remedy and that He works through us to be a remedy to the world with His Strength).
The only (minor) disappointment is the track featuring “Terrible” Ted Nugent. After the major build-up on the DCB web site I hoped for an epic classic-rock guitar fest with “We Won’t Be Quiet” – instead we get a rousing, way-too-short, somewhat generic “shout it out loud from the rooftop” anthem that buries the Nuge’s guitar pyrotechnics. Here us David Crowder Band: WE WANT MORE NUGE. Here’s hoping for more Ted on an EP or perhaps live or something.
Minor Ted Nugent issues aside, Remedy is a great listen. This is an album that you’ll return to again and again, and it is a worthy addition to an already impressive catalog. I highly recommend all DCB’s music…and Remedy is no exception.
Visit David Crowder Band of the web: http://www.davidcrowderband.com
Barry Nothstine hosts Soul Frequency Radio ( http://www.soulfrequency.com), a weekly freeform FM radio show showcasing progressive rock, instrumental rock, power-pop, psychedelic rock, rock classics, blues, and more—great rock for the ages!
The recording and release of Remedy, David Crowder Band's fourth full-length, puts the band in a tough position. It's the same position the Beatles were in after Revolver-DCB released a classic album of modern worship with their last record A Collision, and after its brilliance, how does a band follow up?
David Crowder band grew from being a college church worship band to being international stars in the worship scene. Their first two records established them as talented, if not slightly derivative performers. However, it was their third album that made them truly shine. A Collision was a 21(!) track worship concept album declaring the Christian's victory over death. Within its over 72 minute playing time the band experimented with various musical genres including rock, folk, electronica and bluegrass. The album was a smash hit with both the worship scene and the indie scene, proving that worship music could be both approachable and innovative. It was truly a grand artistic statement, followed by both an EP of b-sides _and _ a book written by Crowder explaining the album's concept as well as giving a history of bluegrass music. The word "epic" doesn't really cut it.
So how does a band follow up such a classic? Well, the Beatles decided that they couldn't surpass Revolver as the Beatles, so they decided to become another band, upping the ante of popular music and inventing the concept record in one swoop with Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The record was revolutionary, but history has proven that it still did not live up to the quality of Revolver, which is to this day considered a better album by most critics.
And what has David Crowder Band done? Do they try to offer up an even grander concept record, or do they play it safe with more familiar territory? The answer is, annoyingly, both, and neither: Remedy is a concept album, musically informed by the success of A Collision, but it is also a much simpler affair, which disappointingly sticks to conventions.
The concept of the record, from the title and the cross on the cover to the lyrics within, is that the world is sick and Jesus is the remedy. Simple, but it also opens up possibilities for much more in depth thought, much like A Collision. Unfortunately unlike that record Crowder's observations remain fairly surface level. Lyrics like "You're the remedy" and "You make everything glorious" are as simple as they are trite in the oversaturated worship market. He even resorts to copying himself; "We Will Not Be Quiet" is a dead-ringer of "Our Love is Loud." The lyrics never really get past these simple slogans. Crowder has always relied on these themes to craft indelible pop singles, but has always included more thought-provoking fare as album cuts. However the only song that has truly original lyrics is "O, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing," which is an old hymn written by John Wesley.
Musically the album fares much better; Crowder's band have proved their chops many times over and this is no different. Each song has catchy music, poppy enough to appeal to CCM crowds but just quirky enough for the indie kids. The variety of A Collision is missed, but this album makes up for that with tightness-ten tracks in a brisk forty-four minutes, with no clunkers in sight. It is notable that this record makes more use of electronic elements than the previous records. Tasteful samples, effects and scratching really add to the uniqueness of Crowder's sound.
This album had the potential to be great. A Collision has proved the band's ability, and this record certainly has the musical chops to follow it up, however this is unfortunately combined with trite and repetitive lyrics, leaving us with only a good album. Granted, Crowder is still hands and feet above all the other modern worship acts who are still rehashing his first two records. If we lived in a world that did not have these hundreds of bands nor A Collision, Remedywould be an instant classic, but instead we have just enough to tide diehard Crowder fans over, and to bring in younger fans who may not be familiar with his older work. If you are a diehard then you will want this, but if you're a newbie stick with A Collision, it is a much richer experience.
By Noah Salo